Here are a few tips in a round-up fashion that have worked for the people we have interviewed for the Lang Newsletter.
To achieve business success you must organize. It helps in completing tasks and items that need to be done. It takes more than a focus on your barbeque techniques. It helps greatly to write a list of tasks or the classic, To-Do list. It’s a sure method to help keep you on track. In fact there are many digital programs you can download to help in organization. Bottom line: it keeps you from overlooking what’s important and all the details that are part of running your business.
Here is an often-undervalued issue. It’s great and even necessary to be passionate and positive and confident in your idea, but most business fail due to lack of financial wherewithal. It is imperative that you are properly financed. The last thing you want is to start serving customers and then have to close. It hurts your reputation. Be certain your financial support will carry you through.
This is probably the most often overlooked business task. Too many people rush into a business and think they can, “Wing-it.” That almost always assures serious problems. You need to have a well-thought-out plan. From your equipment to help and just how to go about running your operation. It deals with the what and how and when of your business. A plan gives you an advantage against many unforeseen issues.
(4) Business Records
A business must keep detailed records. This lets you always know where your business is doing well or not so well. It helps compare what foods you offer that are profitable or not. It helps you compare sales from one given time frame to another. With that information you can make the proper adjustments in various areas. Plus, you will need records for the IRS.
Why should any customer become loyal to your barbeque business? Don’t quickly say it’s the food. Of course that is at the top of the list. But other food businesses around you also provide great food. The question is what makes yours different or unique? What is your “brand?” What is the experience you offer that others can’t or don’t. What makes you different is what draws customers.
You don’t want to dwell on your competitors, but you don’t want to ignore them either. Your competitors are a way to keep you sharp. You should know a lot about your competition and be sure to understand their weaknesses and strengths. You or a close confidant should be eating at your competitors and report back what the situation is. How are the customers reacting, what are they saying, what is the menu and quality of service. Take that all into account and compare it to your business operation.
One of the most critical factors is buying your meats. Establish solid relationships with provisions companies that are dependable and offer you some flexibility. Work out an arrangement that may help you save such as purchasing in bulk or guaranteeing you buy so much poundage at a better price and so on. The point being that the way you purchase can save you money of cut into your costs.
There’s nothing more debilitating to a business than exploring too many ideas or add-ons. The primary goal should be to establish your business by brand, menu, service and so on. Once you are in that smooth zone then you can look into other options. Otherwise its easy to get caught up and complicate things. This is especially true with fads that come about quickly and fade away just as fast. Stay focused on what works and makes both happy customers and money.
Likely the greatest business hindrance of all. One way to help minimize lackluster employees and those who quit in a short time is to try and find help through people you know and gain some referrals. Also, well paid and well treated help makes a big difference. This goes back to the planning stage. You need a plan to deal with tis beforehand.
Don’t confuse the need for focus as mentioned above with creativity. Being focused doesn’t mean you never try anything new or different. Keeping an eye on something that will enhance your customer’s experience is vital. Finding new outlets that may lead to additional revenue is healthy and necessary.
If you want to stay in the lead, you should never stop learning. When you think you’ve arrived, you are losing ground. There’s a place for ego in business but being a know-it-all isn’t it. When was the last time you took a course? When have you attended a Lang Q-School? There’s a lot to learn and there are new concepts born all the time. Believe it or not, it is possible to find yourself a dinosaur!
Don’t be an island. It helps to have friends in similar businesses, not typically those who compete with you, although those relationships have worked. Who do you bounce ideas off? Who do you share concepts with? There is tremendous value in having a mentor to whom you can vent, get alternate opinions and one who will be straight with you when needed.
You’ll undoubtedly work harder for yourself than you would for someone else, so prepare to make sacrifices in your personal life. Providing good service to your customers is crucial to gaining their loyalty and retaining their business. In the food business your workdays also include holidays when people are out looking for meals and other items, and don’t cook at home. The hours are long and forget weekends. You must be ready and committed to that lifestyle when running a food related business.
Nearly every business owner we have interviewed expressed the same thing about equipment. They often started with a low end, poor quality grill and soon recognized that to succeed in their goals, they moved to a Lang Smoker Cooker. They quality of construction, the Reverse Flow, the support; all make for a fantastic way to operate a barbeque business. What you cook on can hinder you from growing.
When you address the many components of running a business, it can easily lead to forgetting service to the customer. All the planning, equipment, menu and so on are all going to be unimportant if the customer isn’t receiving superb service. It’s amazing but true that even some barbecue joints have offered less than fantastic food but their service to customers was unparalleled and they created loyalty. Imagine how successful it would be to offer both.
What is the true driver, the compelling force that makes a business successful? It’s belief…belief in yourself, your abilities, your dream, your future. If you truly believe you will have the best chance to succeed.